Wexford People

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Man held hostage in a 'crime of passion'

A MAN was falsely imprisoned in what a defence barrister claimed was a 'crime of passion' from a jilted lover, Wexford Circuit Court heard last week.

Both 30-year-old Patrick Rossiter, of Raheenduff, Oulart, and 42-yearold Richard Devereux, also from Oulart, had pleaded guilty before Judge Alice Doyle to falsely imprisoning Richard Hughes on October 27 in 2008.

The court heard from Garda Michael O'Grady that a Paul Rossiter (a brother of Patrick, and friend of Richard Devereux), had been sentenced at a previous sitting of the court and was the prime mover and main instigator of what happened on the night.

Garda O'Grady told the court of Richard Hughes having left the house of a Ms O'Brien in Kilcorral, adding that the incident involved another person, namely Paul Rossiter, who had been dealt with at a previous court.

He said that Paul Rossiter had been in a relationship with Ms O'Brien in Ferns, and that Richard Hughes had a subsequent relationship with her.

Both the Rossiter brothers waited outside the home of Ms O'Brien for Mr Hughes, who was assaulted and abducted and driven away in a van when he left the house.

He was taken to Patrick Rossiter's home in Raheenduff after which Paul Rossiter took him in the van to Bunclody, before driving on to Ballon in Co. Carlow.

During that period Paul Rossiter threatened Richard Hughes and told him that he had friends in Carlow who would 'sort him out' unless he made some revelations about his relationship with Ms O'Brien.

Garda O'Grady said that Richard Hughes made admissions to Paul Rossiter regarding his relationship with Ms O'Brien while in Ballon, after which they went back to Richard Devereux's house.

After they arrived there, Devereux came out wearing a rubber mask to cover his face. Richard Devereux, he said, sat in the back of the jeep and they drove to his farmyard in Raheenduff.

He also said that Paul Rossiter had recorded an admission of Richard Hughes's relationship with Ms O'Brien. Mr Hughes was subsequently released, said Garda O'Grady.

Garda O'Grady said that Mr Hughes called to Wexford Garda Station the following day where he made a complaint in relation to what happened.

The defence counsel for Devereux, barrister James Peart, said it was a common case that Paul Rossiter was the prime man. 'It was a crime of passion and he was the jilted lover,' he said, adding that Mr Hughes bore no ill will towards Devereux, whom he felt was led into this.

Senior counsel Mr James Breen, for Rossiter, said that he understood Paul Rossiter had a grievance and Patrick Rossiter was present with him.

When the assault took place involving Paul Rossiter and Mr Hughes, his client Patrick Rossiter tried to intervene.

Both parties said they had €1,500 each in court as a way of compensation for Mr Hughes.

The court was told that Richard Hughes returned to work the morning following his ordeal.

Telling both defendants that they should have known better, even if it involved a case of a 'jilted lover', Judge Alice Doyle said she would apply the Probation Act if both handed over their €1,500 compensation to Mr Hughes.